Before Apple’s iOS 7 update began organizing your photos into “moments” based on time and place, there was Flayvr. The Tel Aviv-based startup has built automatic organization technology which takes your smartphone’s photos and videos and places them into albums that you can quickly share with your friends and social networks. Today, the company has raised another $2 million in funding to continue to grow its company, whose app now reaches 2 million smartphone users.
The new funding comes mainly from regional investors, including Kaedan Capital, former Microsoft Corporate Vice President Moshe Lichtman, Aviv Venture Capital, iAngels, and angel investors Rafi Gidron, Zohar Gilon, Yariv Gilat, and Partam Hightech.
The company had previously raised $450,000 from Israeli angel investors.
Available on both iOS and Android, Flayvr has outlived several competitors in the photo organization space including much-loved Everpix, Dropbox acquisition Snapjoy, long gone Batch, Google acquisition Flock, and others.
Once installed, the app can serve as something of a replacement to a user’s default photo gallery. It analyzes contextual data around the photos and videos saved on the device, using social, behavioral, user-generated, geolocation, computer vision and time-based signals. After the photos are organized, you can tap to share an album to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, WhatsApp, iMessage, or email.
The app is well-designed, too. In the album, the photos thumbnails are somewhat animated, slowly fading in and out from one picture to the next, as the layout is subtly rearranged with thumbnails that change from a rectangle to a square and back again, and more. This gives you an easy way to the see the album’s photos at a glance, without having to flip through a million photos one-by-one.
Led by technology veteran and former military intelligence officer Ron Levy (CEO) and Adi Ashkenazi (CTO), previously of Fring and Modu, Flayvr has now processed 1 billion photos since launching in 2012.
With the additional funding, the company plans to double its team to 10, and expand operations in the U.S.
In terms of the Flayvr product itself, the longer-term plan is to extend the platform and technology into the cloud, says Levy.
“Right now, we are focused on creating a new mobile photo and video gallery experience, built around memories rather than a never-ending scroll of thumbnails,” he explains. “There are obvious opportunities to take this same kind of innovation to the large, disorganized shoeboxes in the cloud, but the focus today is on perfecting the mobile experience. Flayvr technology can do for photos and videos what Waze did for maps and WhatsApp did for messaging,” Levy adds.
Bringing Flayvr to other platforms will also help the company begin to generate revenue, he also tells us, but declined to offer details about those specific plans at this time.
As for the iOS 7 elephant in the room – the introduction of a similar, if simplified organizational system built in Apple’s mobile operating system could mean fewer users will go in search of alternative technologies. But Levy says that Apple’s improvements bring more attention to the space of photo and video gallery organization, and that Flayvr will benefit from this increased focus.
“Apple took a great step in the right direction, and at the same time they have shown time and time again that they work with independent developers and encourage them to create improved experiences that complement and re-invent the native apps, such as Waze and WhatsApp,” he says. “We were actually happy to see the changes in iOS 7…There’s plenty of room for both of us to innovate and improve.”
Correction: Post updated to say Dropbox acquired Snapjoy, not Evernote. Not sure what happened there, oops.